Super Nova continues to enjoy Auto GP campaign with Narain Karthikeyan
- Credit: Archant
Narain Karthikeyan was able to out-score all of his rivals in the latest round of the Auto GP Championship and therefore close in on a top three position in the points chart.
The former Indian Grand Prix racer has been a revelation since joining David Sears' Super Nova International team and rewarded the Griston-based team with two more podium places at Mugello in Italy.
The weekend started brilliantly with Karthikeyan setting the fastest time in qualifying for the opening event but a throttle problem saw him coast into the pits and vacate pole position while the team remedied the problem. Reduced to starting from the pit lane Karthikeyan tore through the field to end up in third place.
'This podium finish definitely feels like a win for me,' explained a slightly frustrated Karthikeyan. 'Despite the fact that we had scored the pole, I was forced back to the pit-lane due to a glitch in the acceleration system.
'Once back on-track, I caught the tail of the field and started to pass my opponents, also profiting from some contacts ahead. Now I am aiming for the win in tomorrow's race.'
Karthikeyan's prediction came true but only after Kevin Giovesi was stripped of victory for excessive use of a restricted area and given a 25 second penalty as a result, elevating the Indian racer to the top spot.
'I would have preferred to cross the finishing line in the lead,' reflected the Super Nova racer of his position in race two. 'However I am quite satisfied with how the weekend went and I'm getting closer to the overall lead in the points. The next round will be at the Nurburgring and it is a track that I know well.'
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The local team's second driver, Vittorio Ghirelli, maintained his championship challenge with sixth place in the opening event, having led into the opening corner before running wide and dropping down the order as a result, before following his team leader across the finishing line in race two.
'My race has been a consistent one, I ended up in the same position I had at the start' stated the young Italian.
'Unfortunately, Christian Klien, who was almost stopped, got into my way and I had to lift the throttle in avoidance. In the end, we profited from a good race pace and strategy'.
The Old Buckenham based Virtuosi UK race team are currently enduring a run of poor form which Andrea Roda very nearly broke in the opening race, narrowly failing to grab the final podium place, with fourth place, his best result of the season.
However in race two Roda and Russian team mate max Snegirev could only finish in ninth and tenth places respectively.
Team owner Declan Lohan said: 'We had such a fabulous season in 2012 and we fully intended to kick on from that – and we still do.
'It is no secret that Lady Luck has not been with us this year, but we won't let it get us down.'